Sunday, January 11, 2009

A little pick-me-up

I don’t know about you all, but amidst the seemingly unending grim economic news, I occasionally need a pick-me-up, which is why I appreciate the positive comments we’ve received from industry members regarding the year ahead.

While most agree 2009 will be difficult across all segments of the glass industry, it will not be without its opportunities, says Guy Selinske, president, American Glass & Mirror, Prior Lake, Minn. “There is one bright spot [in the retail glass market],” he wrote in an e-mail. “Because people are staying in their houses, we’re seeing an increased amount of remodeling. People are looking around at their houses and saying, ‘This is the room that needs work.’ Sometimes it’s a kitchen, sometimes a master bath and even some additions.”

Of course, the economic picture varies significantly depending on your geographic location. While the New York Building Congress predicted continued strength in all building sectors in the state in 2009, for example, Arizona’s future is decidedly less positive. Click here for a complete listing of 2009 state and regional forecasts.

Still, everyone has the opportunity to grow their customer base, even in hard times, says Paul Heinauer, president of Glasspro, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. “We are constantly talking about bringing value to our customers and striving to over-deliver,” he said in an interview. “I’m hoping that if we can do that—because our customers are also looking hard at value—we can grow our business … We must give customers reasons to choose [our company]. We have to be conscious of our reputation and what customers’ expectations are. We’ve got to bring value, and if we can do this, we can maybe actually grow our business. It’s not an easy road, but I feel that it’s an opportunity.”

In response to Sahely Mukerji's blog last week, another subscriber said they believed “we can learn and improve from every situation if we choose. This is a good time to learn some new things or to reflect on the things you learned in 1982, 1990, or 2001. Believe me, times are no worse now than then.”

What do you think? Is the forecast as bleak as it seems, or is there opportunity for growth in 2009?

—By Jenni Chase, Editor, Glass Magazine


Daniel Dinu said...

There has to be a growth.
Vehicles have been sold. Less than before, but the old ones still run At lower daily mile average,but still considerable. Windshields need to be repard and replaced. Crime hits at higher rates so side glasses wile shattered.

There will be enough jobs to fullfill in the AGRR business.

Jenni Chase said...

Thanks for your input Daniel. What is the economic climate like in your part of the world?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenni & all in the USA,

You are both right the economy is in a mess BUT people still need auto glass & those of us who work smart & on our business & not in our business will survive.

Here in AUST our industry is in a mess we have no coordinating body or group to help those on the front line, its dog eat dog over here for independent operators, it would be great to establish some thing similar to what you have.

Maybe to start us off you could incorporate a section that covers AUST in your magazine & web site i would be happy to feed information to you.

I have started a blog see here

And a cheap web site see here

I have incorporated to & from links on this web site.